Gieves & Hawkes sold for £60m

Elizabeth Fournier
SAVILE ROW tailor Gieves & Hawkes, which dressed Prince William for his engagement announcement and wedding last year, is being acquired by its Hong Kong licensee Trinity in a deal totalling £60m.

The suit maker, which was founded at 1 Savile Row in 1771, makes both military and business suits, and has dressed Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin and Michael Jackson over its 240-year history. But despite attracting high-profile clients, the company has not posted a profit since 2005.

Its new owner, which also sells Cerruti 1881 across China, said last month it was on the hunt for European acquisitions after posting a 51 per cent rise in 2001 profits.

Trinity – a subsidiary of consumer brand supplier Li & Fung – has paid £32.5m upfront for Gieves & Hawkes, with further payments up to a maximum of £60m due annually over the next 18 years. The future payments are based on the brand’s ongoing performance in the Chinese market.

It was sold by Hong Kong based property developer and garment manufacturer USL Holdings, which has owned the company since 2002.

Gieves & Hawkes started life as an outfitter for the British Army and Royal Navy, beginning a long association with the Royal family which still sees it hold warrants appointed to the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.